Perhaps it’s the cattle farmer’s granddaughter in me, but stylish décor and entertaining on a budget is my default. It’s never my intention to cut corners or for it to be obvious, but I just can’t help loving a bargain and creating a beautiful atmosphere and delicious food, drinks and treats without breaking the bank. Which is why I’ve been loving, “Probably This Housewarming: A Guide to Creating a Home You Adore,” the new design and entertaining book by New Orleans-based bloggers Beau Ciolino and Matt Armato.

Many will know the pair from their long-running lifestyle blog “Probably This.” The book centers on design, DIY and entertaining (and is structured as such), offering their hard-won tips and advice on the subjects. It is fun, approachable and offers budget- and renter-friendly projects. Even just reading the table of contents is entertaining.

For example, here are just a few of the chapter titles:

“Finishing Touches to Make It Chef’s Kiss

“How to Make a Thicc Snack Board”

“Getting a Crowd Tipsy on a Budget with Sangria”

If you are decorating, renovating or entertaining on a budget, this is the DIY book for you. With their permission, I’m sharing Ciolino and Armato’s easy and refreshing Summer Sangria recipe. (Make it nonalcoholic by subbing dealcoholized rosé for the wine, Lyre’s Italian Orange for the Campari and their suggestion of NA grapefruit soda instead of Stiegl Radler).

Comfy Casual

‘Housewarming,’ Summer Sangria

1 (750-ml) bottle Côtes-de-Provence rosé or other dry rosé
½ cup (120 ml) Campari (make it nonalcoholic with Lyre’s Italian Orange)

14 cup (60 ml) light agave nectar
2 ruby red grapefruits, sliced into cross sections
2 limes, sliced into cross sections
12 ounces (360 ml) grapefruit soda beer, such as Stiegl Radler, or a nonalcoholic grapefruit soda of your choice, chilled

Fresh rosemary, for garnish

Combine all the ingredients besides the garnish in your serving pitcher, give it a stir and serve over ice. Garnish with rosemary.


© Beau Ciolino and Matt Armato photo